The Crazy Suburban Mom: 2009-06-28

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Kitchen from Hell... I Mean 1962


I've decided to do a feature called Retro Tuesday from now on ( or until the supply of old women's magazines purchased at a recent estate sale stops amusing me). The magazines are like some sort of deranged housewives time capsule into the late 40's - early 60's.

I picked up all the mags I could carry (about 10), paid, went back for the others and someone else had grabbed up the rest. Such is life at an estate sale. But the ones I did get are so interesting. So many ads for things I take for granted, like water heaters - which I'm guessing was an option in homes. And washing machines, dryers and dishwashers; which I know were options.

This is an ad from a 1962 House Beautiful. The main story was fantastical - A multi-page spread called Houses that Float. House boats. It's pretty amazing but so not applicable to...well, almost everyone. And in a time when there are still ads touting the need extension phones? Bizarre.

Here is today's ad.

Tappan Appliance Ad

It's really red, isnt' it?

Normally I love retro kitchens and I was looking for something drool-worthy but this stopped me in my tracks. It's just so crazy. So intense.



I don't think I could cook in there. I don't think I could even stand in there for any length of time without getting a migraine.

**Don't miss my vintage apron giveaway! It's here!**


Mr. Linky Tuesday 'Favorite Photo' Blog Hop


***Do I love you because you're adorable or are you adorable because I love you?***


Monday, July 6, 2009

I'm thinking about doing Retro Tuesday...

And yes, I know it's only Monday but I'm getting my thoughts together and seeing how it looks.

I got all these great magazines, mostly 50's era woman's magazines. I've been pouring through them for the last few day and besides drooling over the decor; the ads are a scream. And some of the jello concoction recipes are horrifically funny. I thought I might post something from a magazine on:


On the first go around on the magazines I've been taken with the sheer number of Milk of Magnesia ads. And the approaches...


Too much eating, too much smoking= take a laxative.


She should have never married him = she needed a laxative all the time.


Going on vacation (heck, leaving home at all?) = take a laxative.


If drinking it isn't enough you can always apply it.

It's sort of a weird PR campaign for me. They make it seem like taking Milk of Magnesia is about having a better life. But if your taking it several tablespoons at night as they are suggesting... can you even have a life? Away from home? For any length of time?


Twenty years later I still can't eat orzo...

Yesterday I went grocery shopping.

I didn't have a clear idea of what I wanted to make; my only thought was that I wanted to cook things that didn't involve a microwave.

And no Cheetos.

I wanted to start slowly so I bought packaged sauce mixes, canned soups, frozen veggies...

When I got home I surveyed my grocery booty. I came up with my first meal in ages. It was very easy.

Into the crockpot:


1 Beef chuck

au jus

2 packages of Knorr Au Jus Mix


1 Can of Campbells Double Strength Beef Stock

That was the basic flavor. To that I added I small package of sliced baby bella mushrooms and bunch of scallions and 10 (yes, really 10) garlic cloves.

Here it is ready to go


Pushed 10 hours on low and walked away.

This probably took more like 8 hours but could easily go longer (It was not ready at 5 hours though, still too tough). I suppose you could cook this on high but I find it toughens the meat.

This recipe was really off the cuff but solved a few problems I've had with slow cooker beef recipes. I find sometimes they aren't flavorful enough - the sauce doesn't really get through large pieces of meat. This did. The meat sometimes feels dry and overdone even though its low, slow cooking - this didn't. This meat was juicy. I find I normally have to pre-brown the meat to add flavor and that adds a pain in the butt step - I didn't have to with this recipe.

The sauce was so good I put in the fridge to skim off the fat. I am going to freeze it so I can use it another time in another beef dish.

The plan was to serve this with a recipe I'd found for a faux risotto made with orzo.

Orzo Risotto

1 pound box orzo
2 cups chicken stock or other broth
2 oz grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1. Bring a pot of salty water to boil, and cook orzo for 4-5 minutes, until softened but still hard in the center.

2. Meanwhile, bring a saucepan to a simmer with the stock. Add parboiled orzo and stir well.

3. Simmer orzo in stock, stirring regularly, until all the liquid is absorbed.

4. Off the heat, stir in cheese and butter, and season with salt and pepper.

And I made it but couldn't eat it. I haven't been able to eat orzo since the 80's when my dog Skye threw up round worms. I don't know, they looked like orzo to me at the time... and apparently still do.

So I had this with a salad instead.



Sunday, July 5, 2009

Im' having a Naughty Donna Reed Moment... and a surprise at the end.

So. Estate sales. I've been to a few lately.

I don't know if anyone remembers how I couldn't find my veggie peeler back in May? When I pulled apart the junk drawer and no peeler? Well, I've been on the look-out for a new one at a sale and finally found one. Mine had never turned up.


And found this rockin' (I'm thinking 60's) can opener to replace my gnarly one.

The moral of the veggie peeler story? I went to put the new one away and there was the old one. Swear. The first time I saw it since before I posted about losing it back in May. No idea how it got there or where its been. Creepy.

Check out these coasters; miniature

versions of car mats by Rubbermaid.


They were called Kar-rugs.


Here's the back of one of the coasters.


Some places call these salesmen's samples.

I think they will make great outdoor coasters.

Two melmac serving bowls...


A Lefton Poodle ashtry...


This reminds me so much of a friend of my mom's. She had the coolest 60's living room. All gold, black and white velour... and chandeliery all over the place. And she had a poodle too. Coco.

I found some old magazines at one sale and scooped them up. Magazines like House Beautiful from the 50's/ early 60's. Oh wow, the houses, the ads. I'm going through them and imagining.

1962 good housekeeping -3

1962 good housekeeping - 5

1962 good housekeeping = 4

Well, y'all...

I'm clearly having a retro moment.

And if you're still with me at this point in the post?

You're having a retro moment too.

I wanted to say 'thanks' with a We're Having a Retro Moment Giveaway!

See, these aprons?

apron5 - Copy

Amazing aprons from who knows when?

The 50's? The 60's? I'm really not sure... But look at them!

They are so I Love Lucy...


So Make Room for Daddy...


So Donna Reed..


Or maybe naughty Donna Reed...


Depending on what you wear underneath this one...

So, I've decided to give away Naughty Donna Reed. I don't really have a reason exactly why I picked that one. I kind of liked the way it sounded, I think. I'm having a Naughty Donna Reed giveaway.

It's got kind of a nice ring to it, don't you think?

Here's the rules...

Comment and tell me who your favorite retro housewife was/is! Mine is probably Lucy because she's was just so much fun and always managed to be fun while wearing pearls!

One comment per person or Ginger will be emailing you what for...


Assuming I can wake her. She's 14 you know...

Contest will run until Wednesday July 8 at 9PM Eastern time!

If you want to know if you won leave you email with your comment or subscribe to this thread!


I'll have a bag a Cheetos with a Welbutrin chaser, please...

I've been feeling down for the past few days. There is no extraneous reason; I'm sure it's my head I'm battling with at the moment. I've been battling my head for quite some time. The last few days it's been winning.

A lot of people don't discuss the state of their head but I've never been one of those. Things happen. Disorders occur. Meds are needed and I've needed them off and on (mostly on) for quite some time.

I've never been able to reconcile why some people feel one drug (or one disorder) is neutral and one drug (or disorder) is worthy of finger pointing.

Anyway. This morning I got up and looked in my freezer for something to thaw for dinner...

and saw this:


That's four containers of ice cream (at least). When you add the microwave french fries, the pizza Texas toast and a whole lot of other stuff I don't have to cook (just nuke) for me that says, Med check, Hello?

Looking back at my blog posts I haven't posted anything home cooked in a while. I can't remember the last meal I really put together.

Put any effort in, you know?

I haven't been eating well either. I've had a few meals consisting entirely of Cheetos and last nights dinner was two kinds of ice cream (pistachio and cherry vanilla).

In March I took a break from therapy. Maybe it's time to go back.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

On the way home, mon...

The Jamaican Declutter Fest 2009 comes to an end...

My family is on their way home and I really missed them. I learned when they left that I could track flights and I did. The whole way there. I even copied and saved all the different altitudes and air speeds should they want to see how their flight progressed. But they probably don't. That kind of weirdity is all mine.

Since I could text them for free but their texts to me were 50 cents each, communication was mostly one-sided.

This is what I learned:

  • It was hot. Very hot. Every day.
  • My son, who insisted I take the skin off of skinless baloney for the first 15 years of his life, ate pizza without the cheese for the first 12 and probably ate only 20 different foods (11 of which came in Styrofoam to-go containers) for the first 17 years, ate conch fritters and conch soup. Silly me. I was looking for plain, innocuous foods that I could get passed him easily.

He was looking for this.

  • And while they did the carry-on thing the way to Jamaica they had to check their luggage on the way home. See, some of my son's friends went along on this trip. When I go away I buy jewelry, or sandals, or maybe a T-shirt but one of my son's friends bought a machete. And machetes are not considered carry-on.

Go figure.


This blog is not harmful to humans or pets when used as directed

Well, y'all were probably right about that Formula 409 thing.

I shot the company a note via their website telling them I had trouble finding 409 but also that when I blogged about how safe I felt Formula 409 was the comments that followed voiced safety concerns. Their email response was:

Dear Ms. Reinhardt,

Thank you for contacting us about your Formula 409 All Purpose Cleaner. We always appreciate hearing from our consumers.

When used as directed this product in not harmful to people.

Again, thank you for contacting us.

To be honest I was hoping for something rosier. Warmer and fuzzier, I guess.

I wrote back: "Is it harmful to pets than? It was a bit of an odd answer and I was expecting a bit more, frankly. " And got back:

Dear Ms. Reinhardt,

This product in not harmful to pets when it is used according to the labeled directions.

Again, thank you for contacting us.

Is it me or does that come off as terse and oddly brief to you?

Since my original post I bought a bottle, which states:

Precautionary Statements: Hazards to humans and domestic animals.

That sounds nothing like the emails to me. I don't even need to look up the MSDS sheets at this point. Clearly, there is more information to be had. But the lack of it speaks volumes.

So I'm open to new cleaner suggestions.


If you want to leave me some suggestions I will be grateful!

I may go back to using The Clean Team products . I bought a big kit of theirs several years ago years and really like them and if I recall they are food safe. I've run out of the cleaners but still use some of their products all the time.

The tile brush

Super-duper for cleaning tubs and showers.

Feather Duster

The scaper thingy

The best thing ever for scraping schmutz from where my stove meets the counter.

The Apron

Okay, I love my apron. It allows me to carry stuff from room to room and despite what my son says, I do not look like a tool wearing it.

So basically.


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